The two readings rise some crucial points concerning editing practices. Gailey’s piece, in particular, shows how TEI is not only a useful tool in practical terms but also (and, in some respects, more importantly) contributes to creating a “theory of the text” (132). In other words, TEI helps thinking about both formalistic issues concerning the text (e.g., what is a line or a stanza? Shall we ‘regularise’ the language of the ‘original’ text?) and substantial questions about the text, i.e. what a text is. Digitised texts or critical editions make us think the text as a fluid text. Moreover, digital critical editions exhort us to reconsider the ‘authority’ of the editor(/s), as they offer to the readers not only the opportunity to interpret the text but also to suggest or propose different editorial solutions.
Burnard’s piece focuses on the various nature of information a digital critical edition may provide through the markup system. In particular, the markup system takes into account compositional (i.e., rather formal) features of a text, contextual features, and interpretative features. The markup translates in a set of codes the human interpretation of the texts. Thereby, text encoding also helps thinking more theoretically about both formalistic and more content-related elements of the text.